“The glory of the Gita”
by Shankaracharya | 1882 | 15,550 words
English translation of the Gita-mahatmya. This book represents a conversation between Shiva and his consort Srimati Parvati. It is Lord Shiva’s glorification of the Bhagavad-gita. Alternative spellings of this book include: Bhagavad-gītā-māhātmya (भगवद्गीतामाहात्म्य)...
Lord Shiva said, "O Parvati, please hear the unlimited glories of the Thirteenth Chapter of the Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā -- by hearing which, you will become very happy.
In the South, there was a very large river of the name Tungabhadra, on the banks of which there is a very beautiful town of the name Hariharapur. There, the deity of Lord Shiva known by the name Harihara is worshipped. One who has his darshan attains auspicious things.
In Hariharapur lived a brahmana by the name of Haridiksita, who was very learned, and lived a simple, austere life. His wife was called Durachara by the people. The reason for this was due to her low-class activities. She would always speak to her husband in abusive language, and she had never slept with him. She was always rude to her husband's friends, and she would keep company with other men to satisfy her lusty desires. She was also addicted to taking various kinds of intoxicants. Seeing that the town was becoming more and more populated, she constructed a small structure in the forest where she could meet her lovers.
One night, feeling very lusty, she went out into the forest to her meeting place, to see if any of her lovers were there. Not finding anyone at that place, she started to wander in the forest in the hope of finding someone to satisfy her lusty desires. After having wandered for some time, and finding that her body, senses and mind were paining so much, due to not being able to satisfy their lust, she became bewildered and sat down and started to cry.
Hearing the sound of her crying, a sleeping, hungry tiger woke up and reached that place very quickly. Hearing the tiger coming, the woman got up. Thinking to herself that surely someone is coming who would satisfy her needs, she all of a sudden saw a tiger arrive in in front of her. He was about to rip her apart with his sharp claws.
At that time, the woman addressed the tiger, "O tiger, why have you come here to kill me? First you must tell me this, and then you can kill me." That king of animals refrained from killing Durachara and laughed. Then he related the following story.
"In the South there is a river of the name Malapaha, on the bank of which is the town of Muniparna. At that place there is a famous deity of Lord Shiva known as Panchalinga. In that town I had taken birth in a brahmana family. Although I had taken a high birth, I was still very greedy and had no control over my senses. I used to sit on the banks of the river and perform sacrifices for those persons who were not qualified to partake in such performances. I would eat from the homes of materialistic persons. I would also collect more funds than necessary in the name of performing sacrifices and worship for the deity, and use the same for my own sense gratification. I would also criticize those brahmanas who were strictly following the regulative principles, and I would never give charity to anyone.
Slowly I became old, my hair turned white, my teeth fell out, and my eyes became weak. Still, I did not lose my lust to collect and hoard more funds. One day, by mistake, I went to the house of some brahmanas, who were very cruel and expert at cheating, to beg some food, when they set the dogs on me. One of those dogs bit my leg, and I fell over and very quickly died. After that, I attained this tiger's body, and I am living in this dangerous forest.
Fortunately, I am able to remember my last birth, and in this birth I do not attack any devotee, sannyasi or chaste lady. Only those sinful, persons and unchaste woman I take as my food. As you are a most unchaste and sinful woman, you will definitely become my lunch."
After the tiger had finished his narration, he devoured that sinful woman. Thereafter, the Yamadutas threw her into the hell known as Duyada, which is a lake full of stool, urine and blood. And she had to stay in that filthy place for ten million kalpas. After that, she was thrown into the hell known as Raurava, where she stayed for one hundred manvataras, after which she again took birth on earth as a female chandala. Again she lived in the same sinful way as she had previously. Due to her sinful activities, she got leprosy and also tuberculosis.
By chance and good fortune, she once went to the holy place of Hariharapur and close to the temple of Jambakadevi (Parvati). She saw the great saint Vasudeva who was always reciting the Thirteenth Chapter of Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā. From his mouth she heard that recitation, and becoming attracted, she heard it again and again. By that hearing, she was able to give up that body of a chandala and becoming completely free from the reactions of her past sinful activities. She attained a four-armed form similar to Lord Vishnu, and she was taken to Vaikuntha.